The Living Desert Zoo & Garden announced that Joey, the zoo's newborn wallaby, was found dead over the weekend.
An animal care team found the rock-wallaby dead in its habitat while they were doing their morning rounds on Sunday.
"Everyone is just devastated," said RoxAnna Breitigan, Director of Animal Care at The Living Desert. "The joey immediately won over our hearts and became a symbol of hope during this very challenging year. His sudden and unexpected passing has been very difficult."
The zoo's head veterinarian, Dr. Andrea Goodnight, said that they are not sure how or why Joey died. Staff will be conducting a necropsy to find some answers.
"When you care for over 500 animals, there are some really great days, but also a few very difficult ones. This has been one of the difficult days," Goodnight said.
"Our hearts are broken over the loss of this sweet joey. His mother, Prissy, is doing well and will be closely monitored over the coming weeks. We thank you, our tremendous community, for your support," reads a post on the Living Desert's Facebook page.
Joey is estimated to have been born sometime in mid-May. He was the very first birth in The Living Desert’s New Australian Adventures habitat. Joey made his public debut in September.